Goal $10,000 • Funded $8,900
(2014) To help reduce violence among youth in Chicago by creating safe spaces externally and internally through teaching meditation. Using peace circles and mindfulness training, Chicago Shambhala will co-teach a course with CeaseFire to 250 freshmen and sophomores at Orr Academy High School. Via questionnaires administered before and after 18 weeks of classes, it is expect that there will be an increase in mindfulness, emotional self-regulation, and self-esteem; as well as a decrease in stress. Chicago Shambhala will also teach meditation to all CeaseFire Illinois staff through a five-hour course with follow-up. Our goal is to incorporate meditation into the CeaseFire culture and to develop one to two meditation champions at each of CeaseFire’s seven field offices. This grant will help Shambhala Chicago continue its first inroads into the Chicago Public Schools System, teach mindfulness to 250 young people and to all CeaseFire Illinois staff, and train meditation leaders among the CeaseFire staff.